Linkin Park, GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, Taproot and the Jungle Brothers are among the acts set to perform at the first Dragon Festival on February 3 in San Bernardino, California.
The Kottonmouth Kings, DJ Mixmaster Mike, Beatnuts, Shuvel, Blackalicious and the X-ecutioners are also confirmed for the Asian-American music festival, which is being staged at the National Orange Show Events Center as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations that begin January 24 (this year will be the year of the snake). Organizers said they hope to make the Dragon Festival an annual event.
"We wanted to do something a little different from the Smoke Outs," said Cypress Hill's B-Real, one of the Dragon Festival's organizers. "We wanted something that was a little more underground and could provide a little light on these groups that don't usually don't get light when they play out here." In addition to his behind-the-scenes work, B-Real will team up with Orlando drum'n'bass outfit AK1200 for a special one-off set inside the festival's "Jade Chamber." MC Supernatural will also step inside the chamber to pair with Los Angeles' DJ Heretic for a joint performance.
The inaugural Dragon Festival is modeled after Cypress Hill's successful series of Smoke Out concerts. It'll be the first venture from Guerrilla Union Events, a production company formed by Cypress Hill's DJ Muggs and B-Real, along with Insider Magazine founder Chang Weisberg.
"With all our experiences at playing shows and going out on the road with festivals," B-Real said, "we know what fans want to see, and there's nothing really going on in January and February here [in California], so it seemed like a perfect fit." Aside from the music performances, the Dragon Festival will also feature more typical Chinese New Year and concert festival fare, including acrobats, a fireworks display and a midway village of vendors. Tickets go on sale January 19 via Ticketmaster.
In related news, B-Real said Cypress Hill and Guerrilla Union are assembling a spring Smoke Out concert, tentatively scheduled for San Francisco on April 20 (in keeping with the 4:20 theme of past Smoke Outs) or April 21.
In December, Cypress Hill released the concert album Live at the Fillmore. B-Real said they would take a few months off before starting work on a sixth studio record, which they would like to have out by the summer.